Rosh Hashanah Appeal – Hannah’s Story

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Hello, I’m Hannah and I have been anxious for as long as I can remember.

First it manifested as incessant and irrational worry, particularly at night. I would lie awake in bed catastrophising about how the world would end. At one stage I couldn’t lie down in certain positions because I was afraid I’d hear my heart stop. Living in an emotionally turbulent household didn’t help either; it acted as an inaccurate microcosm of how the outer world functioned, further fuelling my anxious disposition.

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As I graduated onto secondary school, so did my anxiety. It started latching onto probable events like failing tests, embarrassment in social situations and a fear of authority and getting into trouble. To make matters worse, I encountered some unsavoury characters who further reinforced my distorted vision of the world.

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I felt safe neither inside nor outside my own home and spent most of my school years waking up and going to bed terrified. I became withdrawn and depressed and struggled to find someone I could confide in without feeling humiliated.

I left school halfway through and spent the next few years being passed around from one mental health professional to another. I got nowhere and my condition worsened to the point where I couldn’t function, finally culminating in a massive breakdown at the age of 21. I felt that I had failed as a person, that the world had closed in on me and that suicide was my only option to escape my never-ending misery.

During my breakdown, a family friend suggested I contact Jami for support alongside the statutory counselling and medication I was receiving. I remember my first appointment with one of their occupational therapists, telling her that I was too far gone to be helped.

I was so wrong. Jami saved my life.

Within a few months, I went from being frightened and immobile to being frightened and taking on new opportunities. I entered my first job which has influenced my career path and given me direction, and I started participating in social events. It was sometimes incredibly difficult to make progress but Jami supported me every step of the way, helping me to organise my thoughts and being the voice of reason I so desperately needed.

Jami also encouraged me to continue with my education and I have now accepted a place to study at a world class university in September. I can’t thank them enough.

Currently Jami is helping over 1300 people who, like me, have experienced mental ill health and need support with their daily struggles.

Jami receives almost no statutory funding and relies heavily on the support of the community to fund its vital services. As the demand increases so does the strain on resources.

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Any help you can provide this Rosh Hashanah will be greatly appreciated. By supporting Jami, you are helping individuals like myself to move on with our lives.

I still have anxiety but I can now manage and know that I can access help when I need it. For the first time in a long while the world is no longer a frightening place to me, but an exciting one with many opportunities that I look forward to taking.

Wishing you a happy and healthy new year.

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Your support at this time of year will make a positive difference – thank you.

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